Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Sniffing out a few spring and summer stinkers in the Movie Trailer Park

Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview issue came out today,with it's usual highlights of the cream of the cinematic crop heading towards the multiplexes. As I flipped thru the pages,it was great to see their coverage of the array of film goodies but part of me misses the days when they also ran a few predictions about how well each widely touted flick would do at the box office and with critics/audiences in terms of quality.

While I am hardly a film scholar,some movies are so obviously awful that it's a wonder that anyone greenlighted them in the first place. Not talking about schlocky sequels or remakes here,folks;there are some genuinely bad ideas that someone managed to talk a studio and several big movie stars into appearing in. Maybe it's just me but this particular quartet of spring/summer films are flat out telling you how bad they are. Don't take my word for it,through,let's look at the trailers and perhaps you'll see what I mean:


The ads for this mommy-to-be romcom have been so pervasive lately that I'm tempted to file a restraining order against it. Jennifer Lopez stars as a successful single woman who's tired of waiting for Mr. Right and decides to get the motherhood thing started on her own via artificial insemination.

Of course,wouldn't you know,the minute she gets that done,the hunky guy of her dreams(Alex O'Loughlin)just drops into her life and wacky relationship hijinks ensue! Look,I'm all for funny romantic stories about forming a family but they need to be funny in a "yep,that's how it is!" way rather than a stupid sitcom format where everyone acts more childish than the baby who's the driving plot point of the story.

As wonderful as it is to see former Moonlight star O'Loughlin on the silver screen(not to mention Sookie from Gilmore Girls),his talents are being wasted here,along with everyone's time and money:


Then again,maybe I'm being too hard on The Back Up Plan,because the concept for The Switch is way worse. We begin with Jennifer Aniston,another single woman who is ready to be a solo mom and on the night of her celebration party,her best male friend Jason Bateman spills her intended sperm donation and hastily refills it with his own personal source,if you know what I mean.

Nauseated at that? It only gets better,folks. Seven years later,Jenn shows up with a little boy who is not only the spitting image of her old buddy Bateman but has many of his personality quirks to boot! Naturally,Bateman sees this as an opportunity to win his long time lady friend over and secure those family ties.

I don't know which is more insulting,the fact that we're supposed to be rooting for a guy who sees a major screw-up like this as a chance at romance or that Aniston's character doesn't seem to have a clue that Bateman's the father when both Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder could spot that in a red hot second. Also,what is Jeff Goldblum doing in a mess like this-I thought he had a L&O gig going. What is it with Hollywood and artificial insemination comedies? That concept is hardly new and anything that was better done on The Golden Girls is not worth watching on the big screen,if you ask me:


Just when you thought those classic Sunday morning comic strips were safe again,here comes Marmaduke,who for some reason is being given a voice over by Owen Wilson. It's been awhile since I read the funnies but the only inner dialogue that big galoot ever had was a thought bubble or two.

Apparently,it's not enough for the accident prone pooch to cause at home mayhem,there's a convoluted story line where both humans and animals have to learn some life lessons together. Probably little kids will like this but must we subject them to animals forced to dance CGI style?:


The 3D craze is spreading faster than a computer virus at the movies these days and while it's an enhancement to some films,too much of anything can kill the mood over time. With a title like Piranha 3D,explanation of the plot is as necessary as it was for Snakes on a Plane but it is worth noting that Richard Dreyfuss does make an appearance as an expert on deadly aquatic creatures,which is so ironic that it makes the leaden dialogue lighter than air:

Sorry for the rant,people but every now and then,you just have to let your ire out at some of the lackluster offerings the pop culture realm is trying to sell you with a smile and special effects. Maybe it's better to just mellow and remember that bad movies balance the good ones in the circle of entertainment life. Decades from now,we'll most likely be looking back at these cinematic clunkers with nostalgic amusement and marvel at the visible strings of their movie magic:

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